Results of a National Hepatitis C Survey

As part of the I.D. Hep C campaign, the AGA recently released results from a national online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive between April 9-13, 2012, of 1,006 baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) in the U.S. not previously diagnosed with hepatitis C.  The survey found that nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of baby boomers have never been tested or are unsure if they have been tested for hepatitis C and 80 percent do not consider themselves at any risk for having the disease. This lack of knowledge is worrisome because of the nearly 5 million Americans infected with hepatitis C, 82 percent are baby boomers.

In addition to a lack of knowledge, the survey showed a lack of action: 83 percent of boomers surveyed have never had a discussion with their health-care provider about hepatitis C, which is diagnosed with a simple blood test. Most boomers (83 percent) rely on their health-care providers to recommend tests they should have conducted and therefore are not initiating critical conversations about hepatitis C testing — discussions that could potentially save lives.

Survey results show that baby boomers who have talked to a health-care provider about hepatitis C feel more knowledgeable about the disease (76 percent vs. 30 percent) and are much more likely to have been tested (64 percent vs. 18 percent). The survey also revealed that baby boomers are largely unaware of other important facts about hepatitis C:

  • Eighty-three percent of baby boomers don’t realize their generation is most likely to have hepatitis C. Instead, half (52 percent) believe all age groups have a similar likelihood and nearly one quarter (24 percent) think those in Generation X (ages 31-46) are more likely to have the disease.
  • Fifty-five percent of baby boomers think every ethnic group has the same likelihood of having hepatitis C, even though African Americans and Hispanics are affected by hepatitis C at a significantly higher rate than the general population.

Fewer than one in five (18 percent) of boomers know that for many people, hepatitis C can be cured.

Download a fact sheet on the I.D. Hep C national survey.

View the press release detailing the I.D. Hep C survey findings.